Mr Miller says his company will continue to “monitor pay walls” and that it is not “anti pay wall”. But a change would be culturally wrenching. The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, has been a flag-bearer for “open journalism”, which invites input from readers. Erecting a pay wall, and thereby curbing access to content, is at odds with the paper’s liberal values, as it has defined them in the digital age.
Worryingly, there seems to be little urgency to figure out a model that can pay. Mr Miller says it is still “early days”. The company is ploughing more resources into digital while cutting costs and persisting with free online content. This looks less and less like a long-term business strategy. The day is getting late.